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Japanese PM survives a no-confidence vote in parliament

From Kyung Lah, CNN
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Japan's PM survives no-confidence vote
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The opposition is unhappy with Naoto Kan's handling of the March 11 disaster
  • The motion needed 240 votes to pass
  • Kan has been in office nearly a year

Tokyo (CNN) -- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan survived a no-confidence vote in parliament on Thursday.

The final tally was 293 against the motion and 152 for it.

The opposition Liberal Democratic Party filed the no-confidence motion Wednesday, and needed a simple majority for it to pass in parliament, and fell far short of that number. It cited his handling of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis as a reason for the motion.

Had the motion passed, Kan would have been required to step down within 10 days or dissolve the lower house of parliament and force a snap election.

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A devastating tsunami struck Japan's Pacific coast after the massive earthquake in March, triggering the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl as the cores of reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant overheated and spewed radioactive chemicals.

Kan, who was unpopular before the disaster, has come under fire as the nation battles to contain the nuclear and economic woes. Adding on to the problems, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service placed the country's local and foreign currency bond ratings on review for possible downgrade.

Political in-fighting remains a problem in Japan, which has seen six prime ministers in the past five years.

Last year, after only a few months in office, his main political opponent within his own party attempted to take control of the Democratic Party of Japan, effectively taking over the premiership. Kan managed to hold onto the title of party leader.

Kan's one-year anniversary in office is June 8.

CNN's Junko Ogura and Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.

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